If your car has been stolen, you're probably dealing with a mix of emotions. Unfortunately, those emotions might make it difficult for you to take the appropriate steps. After all, it's not easy to know what to do once you find that your car has been stolen. To help you through the process, here are four steps you'll need to take if your car has been stolen.
File a Police Report
If you've just discovered that your car has been stolen, the first thing you need to do is file a police report. In most cases, you have about 24-hours, from the time you discovered the theft, to report your loss. Be sure to provide as many details as possible about the loss of your car, including where it was stolen from, and what time of day the theft occurred. If your car was stolen from a populated area. Try to find someone with an active surveillance system. They may have recorded the theft of your car. This information will help to increase the chances that your car will be recovered.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If your car has been stolen, you'll need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. This should be done shortly after you file the police report. Don't let your initial contact be the only time you speak to your insurance agent. You'll need to maintain communication with your agent throughout the claims process.
File a Full and Accurate Claim
If you're dealing with the theft of your car, you might be focused on that single loss. If that's the case, you might not provide a full and accurate insurance claim. Your car insurance policy will cover the loss of everything you had in your car at the time of the theft. That's why it's crucial that you provide as many details as possible about the items you lost. If possible, you should also provide proof of ownership when submitting your insurance claim. Providing receipts can help to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.
Take Steps If the Car is Recovered
Finally, if your car is recovered, there are a few steps you'll need to take. The first thing you'll need to do is contact your insurance company, especially if they've already settled the case for your stolen car. If they've already paid out on the settlement, you'll need to hand the recovered car over to the insurance company. If they haven't already paid off on the settlement, and the recovered car is still able to be driven, you'll need to conduct a detailed inspection. The best thing to do is have your insurance company provide a service inspection. This will help to identify any damage that's been done to the car.
For more information about the role that auto insurance plays after your car has been stolen, contact a local insurance agency.